Want to learn how to grow on the ‘gram and leverage your leadership to be able to gain more influence in the social media sphere? Well then do I have a treat for you!
Today I am joined by my friend @DeterminedMolly. Molly is an Instagram coach for network marketing leaders who teaches you how to consistently sell not only your product but also your business opportunity on Instagram with ease, in a way that doesn't feel gross or salesy. Molly has been working in Instagram marketing for eight years now. It all started with a job she had in Connecticut targeting seven to seventeen-year-olds who were all on Instagram at the time. She furthered her skills from there and always desired to be self-employed. She’s been rolling with it since then. Adapting as things go on, like moving across the country, and learning to figure out who she is as a person and what she wants from her business. “This is it, I love teaching women about Instagram and how to use Instagram to reach their big goals while I reach my big goals,” Molly says.
First, I asked Molly what it takes to be an expert in the field of Instagram (or social media in general) with everything changing daily?
“To be an expert on any platform or anything in life is a continual study and education. This is why I just focus on Instagram. I have people come to me with ‘can you help me with my Facebook strategy’ ‘can help me with Pinterest’ ‘can you help me with Twitter’ and TikTok and all the things. Yes, I can, and I love all the apps and can help you and have a background with all of them but I have devoted the last several years of my life to just learning Instagram and sticking with one thing because it does change every day and one app is a full-time job. I
focus only on organic growth so if you ask me about paid strategies on Instagram I can tell you a little bit but I will send you elsewhere. I'm not going to claim to be an expert in promoting but organic reach I can help you with. I think it's just about staying on top. Instagram does send out information when they change features and add features and so read what they give you. It's pretty limited but that is direct from the source and the rest of it is just trial and error so that's why I focus on working with the brick and mortars, that was how this all began.”
“Since covid, I've transitioned into working with female entrepreneurs who are building big businesses on Instagram. Social businesses that are more about helping women be who they can be. That's what I focus on because, as I said, you can just go wild in one arena and spend your entire time trying to figure that out and so that's what I do. I run lots of tests and that is the area I can help you in the most.”
Can you define what organic growth/organic reach means for me and the readers?
“Organic reach is the number of accounts or the number of people you can reach without putting any money behind your posts. This is just unpaid. Anyone can do it, you can hop on your phone and do it today. We're not spending any money to reach these people.”
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Do you have target metrics that you want to hit or is it different for every person, what does good reach look like for an online entrepreneur?
“This is going to be a little bit different for every person but it's based around percentages, so the main way that you're going to reach people on Instagram is through your hashtags and generally you're not going to see your hashtags reach anymore than four times the number of your current followers. If you're looking for a cap, that's kind of the cap but the thing to note is that this is a number that builds over time so if you're just starting with your hashtag strategy you're not going to be hitting four times your number of followers today. Now if it's a reel, that might explode (go viral) and there's no limit to how many people can see that, but a regular static post, carousel, or video generally will only reach four times your number of followers. Unless you have a really small follower count and then you could reach a few thousand, but again that is going to build over time, and of that number of people that you reach you want seventy percent of them to be non-followers. Generally, all of the people you reach with hashtags will be non-followers but the goal is that seventy percent of the people seeing our content every day are new people because you need to be bringing in new eyes to gain new followers, customers, and clients.”
What are some things that people can do to grow that reach, like if you're sitting there thinking “I've got really good content but eighty percent of the eyes on it are people who are already following me, who are my best friends and my mom” what can we do?
“I'm gonna kind of go in order of issues we can cover. The first thing I would suggest is just looking at the time of day that you post, so if you're posting at six AM (because it does get really good engagement) just know that you're only
going to be reaching your current followers or the majority of the people you reach will be your current followers because it's six AM, they are waking up and scrolling and liking but their brain isn't functioning enough yet for them to be searching for actual information that they're on the hunt for on Instagram, so they're not playing around on hashtags yet, they're just scrolling at whatever new has accumulated in their feed overnight, so start there if you wanting to reach some people besides your current followers.”
“The second thing to focus on is going to be your hashtags. Hashtags are the main way to be found on Instagram. You get thirty of them, use all thirty. We want to be strategic with which thirty hashtags we use, but if you're just getting started any hashtag is better than no hashtag. If you have some time to look into it and figure out which hashtags describe your content, which hashtags described you and the service you provide, and which hashtags describe your target audience. If you have a brick-and-mortar business or location-based business then all of your hashtags should have a location in them.
From there don't forget about tagging people in your content, and when I say that I mean directly on the image and not just in the caption or in the comments, because when you tag people IG sends it to them, and they might share it to their audience. If you can get one person who you know is going to really like this piece of information that you're sharing, to re-share it to their audience, you've just leveraged their entire audience. That could be two thousand people who have never heard of you before if you had a big person and you get a someone with a large following to share your content that could be thousands and thousands and thousands of new people who finally into your page.
What tips would you give somebody who is struggling to figure out how to create that killer content?
“My number one piece of advice if you're trying to figure out how to make killer content is to use your own voice. Quotes are really powerful on Instagram but people are tired of hearing the same thing over and over again, so if you can put your spin on it and make it sound like it's from you and not from forty-two different image graphics that they've already seen this week, that's going to give you the best chance. One of my clients and I were having a conversation one day and she's trying to talk about how she shows up professionally and always seems so put together even though life is kind of crazy because she's a mom, has kids, a husband, and all the things, like most of us do. and she said “you know, people always ask me how I keep my ducks in a row” and my response was “I don't even have ducks I have monkeys this is a circus” so we made a graphic around that and using her own language to make people be able to relate her more. Saying the same thing but in her words, less copy and paste. It gives people an idea of who she.
and just be careful, if you do want to do to copy and paste strategy, be careful. The algorithm knows what content has been reused and that is going to hurt you. but always put your spin on it if you can and sometimes it's just a matter of having a conversation with someone and letting them tell you what hit them. A lot of our quotes that we put on my client's content just comes from notes that I take while I'm talking to them because I think it is just like writing an app on a dating profile, we're always our worst critic we never know what to say about ourselves, you let someone else do it. Sometimes they know what makes you more than you do.
Can we talk about the algorithm a little bit? I feel as though people (and my hands up, guilty as charged.) hate on the algorithm and blame it for a lack of reach and engagement. What the heck is the algorithm and what does it do?
“There are only two things you need to know about the algorithm, and they're not even about the algorithm, let's stop calling it that. There are two things you need to know about Instagram, 1. It has a lot of features, and Instagram wants you to use those features. The more of those features you use the more it will reward you so make sure that you're adding all the elements to post that you can. You're giving it a location, writing a caption, giving it hashtags, tagging people in it, and using the new features that they give you like reels. You want to play around with all of it and you want to show up on your stories consistently. And 2. it's always
about content that people “share”. You did mention that there's the graphic going around now saying that the algorithm has changed and that what it values has changed. That's not true, what it values has always been the same. It wants people to share your content. That tells it that people liked your content and that more people need to see it. Therefore Instagram pushes that content to more people until people
stop liking it. this is always been the case. Someone just in the last few weeks came up with a cool graphic that explained it easily, that's all that happened. So two things to know,
1. it's not really the algorithm, let’s call it Instagram. Use the features and it will reward you.
2. provide quality content that people want, and that people interact with, and it will reward you more.
Are there any IG features that are more beneficial to use than the others to gain more reach?
Generally, the feature that is going to be the most useful to you at any time is the newest feature that's been released. So right now that would be reels. There's also a lot of hype right now about “carousels”. For some people they may work, I have been testing carousels for about six weeks now for all of my clients it is the worst-performing feature you could use. I don't know why some features catch on and the others don't, I just meet the trends I see and how I would move around them accordingly.
Can we discuss a little bit about this TikTok verses reels throwdown that's happening right now? Is there one platform that's better than the others, I guess first of all reels versus TikTok and then should we be using the same content in both places?
I am a big fan of working smarter not harder. My take on it is to create your TikTok’s and then re-upload them to Instagram as reels. The reason I say this is because it's so much easier to go viral on TikTok than on Instagram these days. I lean towards this method is because you can build two audiences at the same time with the same piece of content.
Is there anything legitimate about the argument that there are two completely different demographics on the apps?
I think that completely depends on your search history. If you want to change what is showing up in your feed on TikTok and change who is seeing your content just do some work on your hashtags on TikTok. When you go on TikTok, instead of just scrolling your “for you” page, be deliberate, go to the search page and type in the content that you want to see and watch that. It will only take a few days, the content in your “for you” page feed will be all about what you spent searching.
You have given us so much information and I know that you have more, so tell me what you're working on right now so that my audience can go follow you and get even more incredible social media info from you
“Right now I'm working on an eight-week course for network marketing leaders called ‘Determined to Grow on The Gram’. We have three goals
1. Help leaders in network marketing master the platform; so you're going to come out of this learning all the functions that you need to know to use the app where big business is happening. you're gonna learn all the features, reels, stories, how to take a poll, all the things.
2. Gain confidence in your voice on Instagram; so that you have women responding to everything you're posting saying “Hey girl I need that” whether they're talking about the product you're selling or the business opportunity itself.
3. Create a clear visibility plan that you can execute daily so that your content is getting in front of your target audience and you're being seen by the people who are actually going to convert into customers.”
An important thing to remember is that hundreds of thousands of women could be selling the same product as you. The only thing that sets you apart whether you are selling the product or you are selling the business opportunity, is YOU. People can buy that product from anyone for the exact same price and they can join anyone's team to be in that company so why should they go with you? The only way that they're going to figure out why they should go with you is if they get to know who you are as a person not who you are as a salesperson.
I hope this information served you I know so many people out there either in network marketing businesses or in this online entrepreneurial space that could really benefit from having someone like Molly in their life to help them learn and grow their social media so you can expand your influence expand your reach expand your business and really at the end of the day expand your message so if you are interested in learning more about grow on the gram head over to Molly's Instagram page again she's apt to term and Molly and let her know that you heard her episode on the beyond leadership blog.
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